ASTM standards are testing methods and more created by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International, a non-governmental organization which was founded in 1898. Today, ASTM publishes over 12,500 standards by which materials can be quantitatively measured, classified, etc.
Many of the standards are used by the flooring industry to more objectively compare products. An “apple to apples” comparison is impossible if flooring products (manufactured by different companies) test their quality using inconsistent methods. Products manufactured outside of the United States are more likely to be tested against ISO standards.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also uses ASTM standards. Although the word "American" is in the organization's title, about 50 percent of ASTM standards are distributed outside the United States.
For example, some ceramic tile is only suitable for decoration as a wall tile or for light residential traffic because the surface is more susceptible to scratches. ASTM C1027-09 Standard Test Method for Determining Visible Abrasion Resistance of Glazed Ceramic Tile is the testing process used to measure scratch resistance. ASTM C1027 is sometimes called a durability rating. For a high quality porcelain, we can demonstrate a practical test before our customers by vigorously rubbing a penny on the surface of the porcelain. The penny will visibly wear down, but the porcelain will remain perfect!
Visit ASTM.org to learn more.